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Ambassador Daniel Fried

Special Envoy to Guantanamo
Born 1952 (age 57–58)
Residence Washington, D.C.
Citizenship  United States
Alma mater Cornell Univ, B.A. 1974
Columbia Univ, M.A. 1977 International Affairs
Occupation Diplomat
Employer U.S. Department of State
Term beginning March, 2009

Daniel Fried (born 1952 (age 57–58)), is a senior career diplomat of the United States who carries the rank of Ambassador. He is presently serving as a Special Envoy to facilitate the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp located in Cuba.[1] [2] Previously, he was the top U. S. diplomat in Europe, and prior to that he was the U. S. Ambassador to Poland.


Current and recent positions

As Special Envoy, Fried sits on an inter-agency committee chaired by Attorney General Eric Holder that is reviewing the remaining captives' cases. His particular mandate is to persuade European countries as well as Yemen to accept for resettlement some of the more than 200 detainees.[3]. Fried's position is with the U.S. Department of State and has a rank equivalent to that of an ambassador, but it has been dubbed "Guantanamo Bay Czar" and "Guantanamo Closure Czar" by the certain media outlets [3] and by public officials such as Republican House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia [4] who oppose the closure of the detention camp.[5]

Fried's job has been described as the most difficult and thankless job in Washington, due in large part to the virtual ban by Congress on resettling the prisoners on U.S. soil. [6] However, in June 2009, Fried expressed confidence that the facility could be closed by January 23, 2009.[7] However, he conceded in November 2009 that the deadline would be pushed back.[8]

Accoring to Michelle Shephard, writing in the Toronto Star, Fried has a staff of just four: Tony Ricci, Mike Williams, Karen Sasahara and Brock Johnson.[8] Ricci, his deputy, is a retired Colonel; Williams is a lawyer, Sasahara is another diplomat, and Johnson was an Obama campaign worker.

During a trip to Europe in September 2009, Fried described the remaining Guantanamo thusly: "Some qualify as the worst of the worst, and we are going to put those on trial... if there's such a thing as an average Guanatamo detainee, it's someone who was a volunteer, a low-level traineee or a very low-level figher in a very bad cause, but not a hardened terrorist, not an organizer - and it is those people who we are asking Europeans to take a look at." [7] As of September 16, 2009, Hungry, France, Ireland and Portugal, Palau and Bermuda had formally agreed to take former Guantanamo detainees, and according to Fried, France, Spain, Italy and Belgium had detainees under consideration.[9]

From the time of his Senate confirmation in April 2005 [10] until early 2009, Fried served as the top diplomat in Europe, with the official title Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.[11] In that post, Fried helped build and maintain essential relationships with European nations and international organizations such as the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. From January 2001 to May 2005, Fried served in an advisory capacity to U.S. President George W. Bush as Special Assistant to President and also held a seat on the National Security Council. Between May 2000 and January 2001, Fried was Principal Deputy Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for the New Independent States. He was Ambassador to Poland from November 1997 until May 2000.

Education and early career

Fried received a B.A., "magna cum laude" from Cornell University in 1974. After earning a master's degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in 1977, Fried entered the Foreign Service.[12] He was employed in the Economic Bureau of the State Department from 1977 to 1979; at the U.S. Consulate General in then-Leningrad from 1980 to 1981; as Political Officer in the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade from 1982 to 1985; and in the Office of Soviet Affairs at the State Department from 1985 to 1987. Ambassador Fried was Polish Desk Officer at the State Department from 1987 to 1989 as democracy returned to Poland and Central Europe. He served as Political Counselor in the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw from 1990 to 1993. Between 1993 and 1997 he was on the staff of the National Security Council, ultimately serving as Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton. While working at the White House, Fried was active in designing U.S. policy on Euro-Atlantic security, including NATO enlargement and the Russia-NATO relationship.

Select views

Fried opposed the recognition of the Armenian Genocide during the U. S. Congressional hearings in March 2007. He stated that the Congressional resolution "would undercut those voices emerging in Turkey who call for a truthful exploration of those events in pursuit of Turkey’s reconciliation with its own past, and with Armenia," and added, "Our fear is that passage of any such resolution would close minds and harden hearts."[13]

On June 26, 2004, Fried stated, "When we were trying to convince Turkey to allow the passage of our troops through its territory in Northern Iraq, we gave Turkey two motives: several billion dollars in the form of donations and loans and Cyprus in the form of the Annan plan." From the outset the Annan Plan involved very little consultation of Cypriots themselves.

In mid-2008, reporter Helene Cooper of The New York Times wrote that an anonymous administration official described Fried as a foreign policy "hawk".[14] on the issue of whether the U.S. should give military aid to the nation of Georgia in its territorial dispute with Russia.

See also


  1. ^ Appointment of Ambassador Daniel Fried,, 2009-03-12
  2. ^ "Daniel Fried to lead dedicated term in Guantanamo closing", 2009-03-13
  3. ^ a b Rosenberg, Carol."Fried names as Guantanamo Closure Czar", "The State, 2009-05-13
  4. ^ Cantor, Eric "Obama's 32 Czars","", 2009-07-30
  5. ^ Cantor, Eric Cantor on Democrats' Votes to Close Guantanamo Bay, 2009-06-18
  6. ^ Crowley, Michael Prisoner's Dilemma,, 2009-06-17
  7. ^ a b Manel, Jon US envoy confident on Guantanamo closure,, 2009-09-18
  8. ^ a b Michelle Shephard (2009-12-06). "How to empty Guantanamo". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2009-12-06.  
  9. ^ Associated Press. Hungary to Accept Guantanamo Detainee,, 2009-09-16
  10. ^ Library of Congress, Presidential Nomination PN295-109, Senate Confirmation 2005-04-28
  11. ^ National Academy of Public Administration.Prunes on Line: A Guide to Presidential Appointments, accessed 2009-07-30
  12. ^ NNDB."Tracking the world","" accessed 2009-08-09
  13. ^ Kucera, Joshua."Bush Administration Tries To Prevent Possible Rupture With Turkey","EurasiaNet, 2007-03-16, accessed 2009-07-16
  14. ^ Cooper, Helene."U.S. Watched as a Squabble Turned Into a Showdown", The New York Times, August 18, 2008.

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